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Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, responds to the Government’s funding announcement:

18th December 2015

“We were promised in the Government spending review that police funding would be protected yet we are still facing reductions and face a challenging time ahead.

“The Government has changed the way it presents its figures and assumptions are also being made in relation to the Total Funding Available.

“Once again the Home Office has taken more money from local policing and put it into various centrally controlled funds, a process known as top slicing. This is in addition to the massive cuts taken in the last spending review which were for four years, so that, whatever George Osborne has recently said, there will be forced further cuts to police and staff in the next year. This is at a time when we are on enhanced security alert after the tragic events in Paris and when reports of sexual exploitation of the vulnerable are at a high because the police have given victims confidence that they will be taken care of.

“We now need to review everything to see how the announcement fits against the priorities for Northumbria so we can ensure we balance the books moving forward.

“There is still no news on Home Office reforms including the anticipated change to funding formula and we are unable to plan far into the future as, ridiculously, we only have allocations for the forthcoming year.

“My office has made the biggest savings of all the Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales – saving nearly £3 million off the annual costs of the former Police Authority. We have saved almost 70% a year on those overheads, every penny of which has been put into policing and community safety where the public would want the money to be spent.

“I am fully committed to making all the savings I have to make in order to protect frontline policing. I will continue to work with chief constable to run a financially efficient service that still delivers for the communities we serve.”